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Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf

The stream-of-consciousness natterings of discontented rich people.

Mrs. Dalloway

1925, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 216 pages

It is a June day in London in 1923, and the lovely Clarissa Dalloway is having a party. Whom will she see? Her friend Peter, back from India, who has never really stopped loving her? What about Sally, with whom Clarissa had her life’s happiest moment?

Meanwhile, the shell-shocked Septimus Smith is struggling with his life on the same London day.

Luminously beautiful, Mrs. Dalloway uses the internal monologues of the characters to tell a story of inter-war England. With this, Virginia Woolf changed the novel forever.

Who's impressed by Virginia Woolf?

Verdict: Virginia Woolf writes pretty. She's deft and elegant and nuanced. And this book was boring and the prose was annoying. It may have been a landmark of 20th century literature, but I don't care about Mrs. Dalloway's dinner party, her old flame, or the fact that she once kissed a girl and liked it. Sorry, Virginia Woolf fans, but she struck out with me.

My complete list of book reviews.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
May. 11th, 2013 06:59 am (UTC)
I found this book difficult to get into, too and nearly gave up on it. But I persevered and realised that the trick was to read it in large chunks and I did get to enjoy it in the end. I agree with you that nothing much happens and it's very slow but the details were good - I could SMELL the summertime street in london and see the curtains at her sitting room windows billowing in the breeze.

The illustration on the front of my copy showed a much plainer, more unusual looking woman. Strangely, I think that helped my viewing Mrs Dalloway as an interesting character, the cover does have an impact!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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